APGNation’s 2014 PC Gamer Gift Guide

It’s the Holiday season, so you know what that means: time to buy a gift for people you see only a few times a year and hope it isn’t the equivalent of giving them a pair of socks or a sweater. It’s easy to shop for some, but every family has the odd ball out. The guy or gal who games exclusively on their PC. You know what to get Cousin Billy, he wants the new Call of Duty game, but what do you get Sarah— what kind of games do you even play on a PC anyways?

Well don’t worry, APGNation’s got you covered with our PC Gamer Gift Guide. These games aren’t the most popular out there, but they are all great games and I guarantee you there is something on this list that will make the PC Gamer in your family happy, be it Sarah who is trying to go pro in Dota 2 between stalking LighTofHeaveN on social media, or Paul who enjoys playing with this new device called an Oculus Rift.

PC Gamer Gift Guide for 2014

1) Elite Dangerous (Space Sim/Space Combat)

Coming out December 16th of this year just in time for the holiday season, Frontier Developments’ Elite Dangerous —the latest and greatest Elite game thus far— is great for the tech enthusiast who has gotten their hands on the Oculus Rift. The game supports many different kinds of input, even multiple forms of head tracking. As of right now I’d say it’s the most immersive game for the Oculus Rift to date. If the person you’re giving the gift to is into space and science fiction in general, then Elite Dangerous is still a great pickup even without the Oculus Rift. If they do have the Oculus —well there’s  a good chance you won’t hear from them until next holiday season.

2) South Park The Stick of Truth (RPG/Turn Based)

South Park Stick of Truth is a great game for any fan of the show, and despite a bit of its more subtle humor for non-fans it’s still a great and enjoyable RPG. Be aware of the M-rating on this game, though — it isn’t suitable for little Billy, unless you already let him watch South Park. Then his mind shouldn’t be too scarred. I’d get this game for any RPG fan who has a Steam library full of fantasy RPG games and might benefit from the change of pace that South Park The Stick of Truth is.

3) Insurgency (Realistic Shooter/Team Based)

For the FPS Enthusiast, I recommend Insurgency: it’s a “realistic” team-based shooter that really draws a player in. Using the Source Engine, it runs fantastic and looks great — the game boasts an astounding 27 maps in 12 different distinct locales. It also features 3D VOIP so that the guy shouting behind you to get down sounds like he is actually behind you shouting, “Get down!” The game also features 8 different versus multiplayer modes and two co-op modes to keep someone who enjoys a good shooter coming back for more.

4) Civilization 5: The Complete Edition (Turn based/Empire Builder)

Civilization is the series that spawned the phrase “Just one more turn” and Civilization 5, with all its DLC, is no exception. Getting a game plus all of its expansions and DLC is always a huge bonus for any gamer. Civilization 5 is a great turn-based empire game. It’s the player’s task to guide an empire by husbanding resources, expanding borders, researching new technologies, and practicing diplomacy to complete domination of the world. Victory conditions are varied, and if you buy this for your relative be warned— you might not see them for literally ages. Author’s note: please warn the recipient about Ghandi. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLtZW3xIix0

5) The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Indie/Rogue-like) 

For the gamer who enjoys difficult games, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a great choice. With the promise of an upcoming expansion, now is a great time to get your family’s resident PC gamer hooked on The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. It’s a difficult game with plenty of secrets and content to unlock as you progress. The story is dark and the art style is rather unique. With a procedurally generated dungeon, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has hours of content for the price. The swearing that comes from the computer room (probably because of the game’s difficulty) will let you know that you made the right decision! 

6) The Wolf Among Us (Story Driven/Episodic)

The Wolf Among Us based by Telltale Games is based on the Fables comic book series. The game puts you in the shoes of Bigby as he tries to solve a series of increasingly ghastly murders of characters from fables (Snow White, The Huntsman, etc.) while battling his metaphorical beast inside. This is a great game for the PC gamer who enjoys a strong story with well-written characters. Episodic in nature, the game can be played in one hour sessions. It’s essentially a modern choose-your-own-adventure in transmedial format, with the different choices and outcomes offering some replayability, and dynamic characters that will keep most people coming back the same way they do with rewatching Game of Thrones

7) World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (MMORPG/Fantasy)

This is the game to get for the PC gamer who managed to kick their MMO habit and “swore” they’d never go back. With the new expansion, WoW is looking to be bringing back its glory days of The Burning Crusade and Wraith of the Lich King. So do your favorite PC Gamer a favor and buy it for them so they have an excuse to skip weekend social events and work. 

8) Transistor (Action/RPG)

Transistor from Super Giant Games is a sci-fi turn-based action-adventure RPG. The original soundtrack for the game is absolutey stunning and will impress even the most jaded music enthusiast out there. The beautiful art direction of the game will also visually stun PC gamers who are used to squinting and discriminating textures for the slightest flaw — it’s so dazzling, they might actually play the game instead of the graphics settings. Pick up Transistor for PC gamers who enjoy a good story and surprisingly complex combat systems, or if they are just a music snob. Maybe then you won’t have to listen to them telling you why the music you listen to is bad.

9) The Legend of Grimrock 2 (Dungeon Crawler/Old School)

For the older RPG gamer who use to spend hours in front of the screen typing in the words “go north” over and over, The Legend of Grimrock 2 brings back those days but with modern control schemes and graphics. No more typing “Go North” over and over! Plus there are options so that you don’t have to manually map out any given dungeon, instead choosing to have the game do it for you. The Legend of Grimrock 2 is a fantastic fantasy RPG dungeon crawler that I can recommend for anyone who really enjoys exploring a game world to the fullest.

PC Gamer Gift Guide

10) Steam Gift Card

None of these options look good? Is your resident PC gamer always talking about the latest Arcana for something called “dough-ta tew” or some new gun skin in a game simply referred to as “GO”?  Well the Steam Gift Card has got you covered — you can pick it up at most major retailers that sell games. It’s the sort of thing you just can’t go wrong with. Remember: gift cards don’t say you don’t know them— they say you know that they are going to save it for the next Steam Sale and get at least twice as many games as you could buy for them now. 

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Jeremy Effinger
Written by
I am 26, a bibliophile, an amateur chef, and a gamer. I've gamed on the NES, SNES, PS1 and PS2 platforms, before switching to PC as my primary gaming platform. These days I tend to fill my gaming time playing Dota 2, and various RPGs of the WRPG or CRPG variety. I also enjoy the occasional shooter, open world game, 4x strategy games, stealth, and turn based games. I'm also an avid table top gamer and have been playing the same campaign weekly for the last four years.

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